WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released an updated plan for eradicating an invasive insect from several states.

South Carolina, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio are dealing with infestations of the Asian Longhorned Beetle. Specifically in the Lowcountry, 76.4 square miles of forest are under quarantine in Charleston and Dorchester counties.

The new eradication strategy focuses on “inspecting trees in quarantined areas … and removing infested trees at no cost to property owners.” Insecticide will not be used as part of this year’s program.

People in impacted areas should keep an eye on trees and report any signs of the beetle, including suspicious tree damage, immediately. Regulated items such as firewood, nursery stock, logs, and branches should not be removed from quarantined areas without explicit permission from state officials.

APHIS is asking people who live in quarantined areas to help by doing the following:

  • Allowing eradication program officials access to your property to inspect trees and remove
    any infested trees that are found.
  • Hiring tree or landscape companies that have compliance agreements with the eradication
    program to ensure that woody material from your property is removed and disposed of
    properly.
  • Contacting your local eradication program office or municipality for information on yard
    waste disposal procedures, if you need to move woody materials such as stumps, logs,
    brush, and twigs from your property.
  • Not moving any infested tree materials, live trees, or nursery stock of ALB-host trees
    without first contacting your local eradication program office.
  • Buying or responsibly gathering firewood where you will burn it or use certified heat-treated firewood because moving firewood can spread the beetle.

To learn more about the Asian Longhorned Beetle, call the USDA’s toll-free hotline at 1-866-702-9938 or visit
www.aphis.usda.gov/pests-diseases/alb.